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Things to do in Newport News

    Virginia War Museum Virginia War Museum Newport News, Virginia
    The Virginia War Museum is situated in Huntington Park in Newport News, Virginia housing American military history from 1775 to the current day. It was started in 1923 by the Braxton-Perkins Post #25 of the American Legion, called the American Legion Memorial Museum of Virginia, but in the 1950s, the city assumed control of the museum and renamed it the War Memorial Museum of Virginia. Then, in 1987, the Virginia War Museum Foundation was started by the city council and the museum name was changed once more to reflect that organization. The museum has a marvelous collection of cannons, uniforms, weapons, posters, vehicles, and artifacts from the numerous wars that our country has been engaged in, with a featured exhibit belonging to the former infamous Berlin Wall, and the outer wall from the Dachau concentration camp. It also maintains a wonderful research library that contains the state's archives. The outstanding exhibits located here include; the Berlin Wall display, America and War, Axis Powers, visions of war, evolution of weaponry, Marches toward Freedom, Women at War, Men at War, HR Port of Embarkation, Fowler Gallery of Arms and Prisoner of War.  The large gallery that contains the America and War artifacts and relics that have been acquired from the first war in this country in 1775 to the last or current battles that continue on in Afghanistan. There are marvelous displays of weapons, uniforms, accoutrements and artworks that showcase the men and women that were involved in the nation's military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. It includes exhibits of the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War with a large span of relics that pertain to the country's military history from WWII General Mark Clark's trenchcoat to one of the nation's first battle tanks that was manufactured during WWI. Check out the anti-tank cannons, WWII US pilots blood chit and a Vietnam war helmet. It is all right here for you to peruse and imagine, what would I have done? There are numerous educational programs to assist you learn about the many wars and the trials that the men and women had to endure through them. 

    Mariner's Museum
    Mariner's Museum Newport News, VirginiaThe Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia has been open for more than 80 years, showcasing one of the biggest maritime museums in the world, created by Archer Milton Huntington, son of shipping and railroad mogul, Collis P. Huntington. Collis started the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company many years before the museum, which was located only a few miles down the road. Archer and his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, a marvelous sculptor purchased 800 acres of land that would become the base for their magnificent estate, with 61,000 square feet of display space, more than 35,000 maritime relics, a research library, 167 acre lake and a five mile shoreline trail that had fourteen bridges. Their first two years there entailed the creation of a natural park and then building a dam to create the Lake called Maury after the 19th century oceanographer, Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury. The dam became known as Lion's Bridge, and created a splendid view of the James River and an exciting spot for the family's gatherings. The dam contains several pieces of statuary that were designed by Anna, which were four stone lions mounted on the ends of the parapets that sat on the bridge, finished in 1932, and a monument called, "Conquering the Wild." The statue is of a man struggling with a horse that was rearing up on its hind legs, on top of an Indiana limestone pedestal and flanked on each corner with life-size figures that represented art, learning, industry and science. This beautiful monument overlooks the lake, the park and the bridge, creating a serene and special place to consider life and the beauty of it. The museum's collections contain about 35,000 maritime relics, of which one-third are paintings and the remainder three dimensional items. The wonderful collection was acquired with the assistance of aggressive agents working for the museum, and the inauguration happened on August 1, 1933. The initial purchases were acquired in New England and New York, as well as places like China, the South Sea Islands, Holland and England, and by 1935, the scope had increased so much so that Archer decided to include the Spanish main and the West Indies in the search. During 1936, they went on a 9200 mile trip, going to Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, with the museum commissioning a yachtsman, who planned on circling the world, to look and obtain maritime specialties. The awesome collection contains art of the sea, navigating & scientific instruments, ship models and between wind and water. One of the most highlighted artifacts is the world's oldest toy boat, and a monthly artifact is brought to the forefront of the collection so that visitors can see unique objects that they might miss in their perusal of the museum. They also have an international small craft center that houses many unusual and unique vessels from around the globe, as well as a significant collection of 30,000 records that contain information about the maritime art and objects. It is a special place to visit and learn much about the maritime life and history of our nation and much of the world, with the most interesting relics that could be found and acquired.

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    Virginia Living MuseumVirginia Living Museum Newport News, Virginia
    The Virginia Living Museum is a marvelous open air museum in Newport News, Virginia that houses numerous living displays of the state's indigenous species, with features like the planetarium, aquarium, aviary, science center and botanical preserve. Opened in 1966 as the Junior Nature Museum and Planetarium, the museum was the result of an agreement between Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr., the Warwick Rotary Club and the Junior League of Hampton Roads. By 1976, the center had to be enlarged and the main focus shifted to applied sciences and physical sciences, as well as retaining the original natural sciences and renamed the Peninsula Nature and Science Center. Then, in 1983, it started a transformation into a living museum, bringing in living exhibits and preserving land to complement the existing displays, copying the lead of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In 1987, it reopened as the Virginia Living Museum, and continued to expand during the 1990s, creating the Coastal Plain Aviary in 2001, and the massive 62,000 square foot museum structure in 2004. The central building contains animals living in numerous displays that showcase the environments of the state, that include the coastal plains, Appalachian Mountain cove and cypress swamp, the Piedmont, a gallery of nocturnal life and the underground. On the outside, there is a butterfly garden, 5500 square foot aviary and three quarter mile boardwalk that meanders around various animals living in their natural habitats that include red wolves that are now endangered, river otters, bobcats and pelicans.  The museum offers visitors the opportunity to come face to face with a loggerhead turtle, moon jellies, fish without eyes and frogs that can change their colors, as well as spider crabs, fossilized dinosaur tracks and other examples of the 250 plus species of living creatures that are native to the state. There are many hands-on types of displays, discovery area and exhibits that will thrill and chill you and your family, definitely a fantastic place for the entire family to enjoy the great outdoors indoors and other sights that you wouldn't normally see or even imagine. 

     US Army Transportation Museum
    US Army Transportation Museum Fort Eustis, Virginia
    The U. S. Army Transportation Museum is a United States Army museum of vehicles and various types of transportation-related equipment and memorabilia that has been used to facilitate the maneuvers of the army during its history. It can be found on the grounds of the Fort Eustis, Virginia army base in Newport News, Virginia, opening in 1959, in a warehouse, utilizing the objects that had been acquired for a recruiting display. In 1976, they acquired a main building, and by 1987, had an open-air pavilion for aviation displays, at a cost of $765,000 that was funded by the Army Transportation Museum Foundation. By law, the foundation is not able to get any state or federal funding, just private donations. The museum showcases the history of the army, but more specifically, the US Army Transportation Corps and includes about 100 vehicles that are watercraft, land vehicles, rolling stock, and stock from the Fort Eustis Military Railroad. The museum is dedicated to General Frank S. Besson, Jr., the first four star general to head the transportation command and contains more than 6 acres that contain indoor displays, sea, air and land vehicles. The displays reflect the role that transportation played in the operations of the army, that do include topic portions from the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Afghanistan. The museum's main building is a 50,000 square foot structure and four outdoor parks with the main building's exhibits being chronologically arranged with magnificent dioramas. Outside are the vehicle yard south, containing amphibious craft, the aircraft pavilion and road vehicles; and the rail display on the north. There is some related materials from the 18th and 19th centuries, but more than half of the space is devoted to the 20th century, with the majority of the outside exhibits included. There are outstanding truck developments showcased by the Mexican Punitive Expedition's Liberty Truck and Transcontinental Motor Convoy displays; since the Liberty truck was the first standardized truck design which weighed 5 tons and carried cargo, using interchangeable parts; and soldiers letters that spoke about their experiences with the vehicles. WWII is shown in numerous displays, especially the Operation Mulberry exhibit which involved an operation to build two artificial harbors on the Normandy coastline to help support the invasion on D-Day. It is a very interesting and often exciting museum, dedicated to the men and women that used the vehicles and the soldiers and other troops that were the recipients of those vehicles usage. Definitely a place to be visited to honor our fallen brothers and sisters in the uniform, as to honor those that are yet fighting another conflict on foreign soil.

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Local Restaurants in Newport News

    Al Fresco Ristorante
    Appetizer; calamari fritti is lightly dusted & quick fried, served with spicy tomato sauce; mozzarella in carroza is mozzarella cheese dipped in egg, lightly breaded, fried, served with tomato sauce; gamberi salsa di noci is sautéed shrimp in garlic & oil finished in creamy walnut pesto sauce; salsicce & gameroni is sausage, shrimp, asparagus pancetta in sherry marinara sauce; cozze posillippo is mussels sautéed with roasted red & yellow peppers, garlic, basil, in white wine sauce; melanzane rollatini is two thinly sliced eggplant stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheeses baked with tomato sauce. Soups & Salads; stracciatella romana soup is spinach, carrots, onions, eggs & chicken broth; chicken soup is diced chicken, carrots, onions & pasta; il contadino salad is tomato, artichoke, onions, cucumber, carrots, kalamata olives, roasted red & yellow peppers; salmon salad is grilled salmon, assorted veggies, romaine lettuce, walnuts & cranberries; seafood salad is grilled shrimp, scallops, assorted veggies, romaine lettuce, walnuts & cranberries. Dinners; pollo portofino is shrimp & chicken, sundried tomatoes & mushrooms in marsala wine sauce; pollo alla toscana is boneless breast of chicken sautéed with roasted red peppers, sausage & pine nuts in light marinara sauce; pollo al parmigiano is chicken breast dipped in egg, lightly breaded, finished in oven with tomato sauce & topped with mozzarella; vitello verbena is scaloppini of veal layered with proscuitto, capers & asparagus topped with mozzarella & marsala wine sauce; vitello al marsala is veal scaloppini sautéed with mushroom finished in marsala wine sauce; salmon salsa bianca is salmon sautéed with artichoke hearts, mushrooms & julian carrots in white wine sauce; flounder francese is filet of flounder dipped in batter sautéed with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms & capers finished in wine lemon sauce.

    Saddle Ridge
    Starters; crab cake is single jumbo crab cake; loaded potato skins with cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce & scallions; crab dip is medley of jumbo crab meat, red peppers, green onions & corn topped with bread crumbs & baked, served with pita chips; chicken fingers deep fried; mini corn dogs; tower of onion rings; loaded fries with cheese & bacon; fried mozzarella deep fried & served with hot marinara sauce. Steaks, Pasta & Seafood; sirloin steak & shrimp is 10oz. beef sirloin seasoned & grilled with 3 tiger shrimp topped with lemon herb butter & mashed potatoes; NY strip is 12oz. strip seasoned & grilled on demi-glaze, served with mashed potatoes & sautéed green beans; filet mignon is 8oz. tenderloin seasoned & grilled on demi-glaze, with mashed potatoes & sautéed green beans; lemon pepper chicken pasta is seared lemon pepper chicken served on bed of penne pasta tossed in lemon pepper sauce with diced tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, scallions & shredded parmesan cheese with garlic bread; creamy pesto shrimp pasta is sautéed tiger shrimp served on bed of penne pasta tossed in creamy basil pesto alfredo sauce with spinach topped with fresh diced tomatoes & scallions with garlic bread; rock fish is blackened rock fish served over roasted creamy redskin potatoes & broccoli, then finished with balsamic drizzle; Atlantic salmon is pan seared & slowly baked salmon with mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans topped with marinated tomatoes; coconut shrimp is 10 beer battered & coconut coated jumbo shrimp fried with mashed potatoes & broccoli with housemade mango-plum gravy.

Pollo Portfino Al Fresco Ristorante Newport News, Virginia


Vitello Al Marsala Al Fresco Ristorante Newport News, Virginia


Flounder Francese Al Fresco Ristorante Newport News, Virginia



 Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta Saddle Ridge Newport News, Virginia

Atlantic Salmon Saddle Ridge Newport News, Virginia


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    The Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center Newport News, Virginia
    The Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center is a magnificently restored 1899 house in Newport News, Virginia that was the residence of African American lawyer, J. Thomas Newsome and his wife, Mary Winfield Newsome, and daughter, Maurice Ethelred. The Newsome family moved into the house in 1906 and started making outstanding changes to the former salt box house, transforming it into a marvelous Queen Anne style home that would become the center of the local black community. The house has continued on as a timeless historic fixture that is an important venue for special events, social functions, meetings and exhibitions, listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places; and the first house owned by an African American that would be the recipient of a National Historic Preservation Award. Joseph T. Newsome was born the son of former slaves, Joseph Sr. and Ann Newsome, on Princeton Plantation in Sussex County, Virginia. Joe got his primary learning at the church school in the county and at the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute in Petersburg; and gained his law degree from Howard University as a valedictorian. Joe married his college sweetheart, Mary Beatrice Winfield, and they moved to the Newport News area. He would become a respected barrister, churchman, civic leader and journalist, gaining some wealth during the post Civil War south's new urban African American middle class; and as a fitting tribute to the man that had helped so many, the city courts were shut down for his funeral in 1942. He was born in 1869, the six of seven children born to the former slaves and entered college to become a teacher. But while he was in college, he became a member of the debating team and developed such marvelous oratory skills that he began considering alternatives. He did go back to Sussex and taught for a while, but didn't care for the position, as his interests began to wander to politics and the law. He was encouraged by a family friend, Judge Robert Arnold of Waverly, and soon entered the law school at Howard. Joe would earn his living while there as a waiter and construction worker, graduating in 1898 as class valedictorian. The house in Newport News had been constructed for Dr. William R. Granger in 1899, and was a simple type of house, with two stories, attic and part basement. Before the first World War, the Newsomes had added a Palladian window, elaborate Victorian spindlework octagonal turret and wrap around porch. It became the most significant house in the East End, in the mostly black neighborhood. He ran for office in 1920, going to the National Republican Convention in Chicago, running for the position of state's attorney general, part of an all black ticket called the Lily Black Republican ticket and later that year would run for the 1st Congressional District seat. Joe was a founding member of the Trinity Baptist Church in the city and for 23 years was the Sunday School Superintendent, as well as serving as a deacon. He later joined the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church and was actively involved in that church for another 20 years. The rest of the story, about the family and history of the house is very interesting and will be part of your tour when you visit this wonderful old house that holds so many excellent memories for the community and the people that came to visit here as guests and friends.

    USS Monitor Center
    USS Monitor Center Newport News, VirginiaThe USS Monitor Center is an exciting exhibit that consists of historical relics and interactive exhibits that help you to experience the fear, awe and excitement of this historical period in our history. During April, 1861, the Confederacy started bombing Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina harbor and began the monument us and bloody scourge that this country had ever seen and hopefully, prayerfully, will ever see. Since the Civil War was occurring during the new industrial revolution, many inventions and innovation were happening on a day to day schedule, with the creation of a new weapon, the ironclad vessel. At the Battle of Hampton Roads, the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor squared off in the first combat between the two new and formidable creations, and the events that followed forever changed the way seafaring ships would fight at sea. Using three exemplary exhibits, you will learn more about the ironclads than you ever thought possible, with Life on board the USS Monitor, Thrilling Eyewitness accounts and Meet the Officers and Crewmen. In the Life on Board display, there is an outstanding account of one sailor that lived and experienced the battles and life aboard the Monitor, crewman George S. Geer, who wrote about the period in his letters. Excerpts from it are very interesting and will give the visitor a lot of information and insight into the life of these early sailors of the ironclads. The entire collection is a marvelous sight and will thoroughly thrill all visitors, both young and old alike, since it gives so much historical information about the war of the sea and those people that were involved in it. The center tells about the ironclad before the war and chronologically goes through the Civil War with many historical artifacts and stories. It provides so much information that the only way for anyone to get to know it properly would be to visit the center and peruse the collections that are so interesting and important.

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    Endview PlantationEndview Plantation Newport News, Virginia
    Endview Plantation is a magnificent 18th century plantation that is found in Newport News, Virginia that was originally known as Harwood Plantation and constructed in 1769 by William Harwood by the Great Warwick Road that connected the capital of Williamsburg with the town of Hampton on the harbor of Hampton Roads. The 240 year old estate was used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War under General Thomas Nelson, Jr. to rest his troops on their way to Yorktown in September, 1781, a short time before the British troops under Lord Cornwallis would surrender. It would be used again in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, which was the home of Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis Jr., one of only two doctors in the region of Warwick County, Virginia. In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, it would be converted into a hospital, during the hardest months of the Civil War. In 1995, the city was able to acquire it, which has become the home of the Civil War at Endview: A Living History Museum. In 2006, it was the scene of many military reenactments of the Siege of Yorktown, pertaining to the 225th anniversary. Sitting on 27 plus acres, the house was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 2008; and is of the T-frame Georgian style of architecture, and renamed Endview in the 1850s. The house sits on top of a small knoll with a marvelous spring located at its base, to bring water to the main house and supply other needs around the estate. The land was initially part of the Harwood lands, purchased by Thomas Harwood in 1635, who had emigrated to the new land in 1622. He would someday become the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and in the next 100 years more lands would be added to the huge acreage that the Harwood family owned. Passing from father to son, the land would eventually become William's, and the main crop would be tobacco. Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, more than half of the county was made up of slaves, according to archaeological data collected around the region and site. Records show that the plantation had between 15 to 25 slaves during that period, with slave quarters scattered around the property, with a possible slave graveyard near the springs. By the time the Civil War arrived, the estate had been purchased by William's great-grandson, Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis who began his practice out of the plantation in 1856, and married Maria Whitaker in 1858. The 1860 census shows that Curtis owned $8000 worth of land, $21,000 in personal property and 12 slaves. He would change the name to Endview during that time, and in 1861, he abandoned his medical practice and helped to organize a volunteer company, the Warwick Beauregards that soon elected him their captain. It would become Company H of the 32nd Virginia Infantry Regiment and took part in the defense of the peninsula before being forced to retreat before General Joseph Johnston's army in 1862. Federal troops moved into the property at Endview after the Curtis family moved closer to Richmond, and stayed in the area and there until the end of the war. They came back after the war and got their property back, and Curtis passed on in 1881. The estate would stay in the family for another century until it was sold by the heirs in 1985, and then acquired by the city in 1995.

    Newport News Park
    Newport News Park, Virginia
    The Newport News Park can be found sitting in the midst of Newport News, Virginia, and is the biggest park in the city with 8,065 acres and one of the biggest city-run parks in the nation; offering many and numerous activities for the community's families and the visitors that come here for the enjoyment. In the Civil War, the park had been the site of the Battle of Dam No. 1, which was part of the Battle of Yorktown, 1862. Just before the battle started, the Confederate army had built rifle pits and other earthen works that would help them keep the Union troops under General George B. McClellan; which are still visible today, although they have been grown over with trees, but still accessible from the White Oak nature trail that runs on the camping side of the reservoir. In the 1960s, as the city grew and the nation went on a rampage, the city realized that it would have to start taxing its water supplies, and to help with that it would buy numerous lakes in the Lee Hall area and then pump the water into the city. Wanting to keep the water as clean as possible, the city built a watershed around the new Lee Hall reservoir and the shores around it became the Newport News Park in 1966. The park has 188 campsites, going from the basic shaded areas without electricity to the sites that had electrical and water hookups for RVs. The park contains more than 30 miles of trails as well as a 5.3 multi-use bike path; offering helmet and bike rentals, since helmets are required by anyone under the age of 14. The discovery center was constructed to allow visitors an opportunity to look at the park in an educational perspective with many displays on the kinds of natural life that calls the park their home as well as historical displays about the land and its heritage. Many Civil War relics that have been discovered on the park land is also on display. The park also offers geocaching with more than 50 geocaches so far, a disc golf course, archery range and an aeromodel flying field for those with remote controlled aircraft, with a wonderful 400 foot runway. Geocaching is one of the newer outdoor games that are becoming very popular with the new generation since the people that are involved in it use GPS receivers or other navigational devices to find and hide containers, called geocaches or caches anywhere in the world. The usual cache is a smallish waterproof container that holds a logbook, so that you can enter your name as well as others that have discovered it. It has been described as a high-tech game of hide and seek, with geocaches being put into more than 100 countries across the globe and on every one of the continents, including Antarctica. Having been around now for a decade, there are more than a million geocaches published on numerous websites that are dedicated to that special activity.

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    Lee Hall MansionLee Hall Mansion Newport News, Virginia
    Lee Hall Mansion, in Newport News, Virginia, is the only big antebellum plantation house that is still standing on the lower Virginia Peninsula that was constructed in 1859, and home to Richard Decauter Lee, his wife Martha and their children. Lee was not related to General Lee, but was a wealthy planter, and after three years in the house, had to flee to escape the mighty battles that would be fought for the peninsula, and the first major battlegrounds of the Civil War. It had been constructed on high ground with outstanding views of the surrounding countryside and was one good reason that in the spring of 1862, it would become the headquarters for Major General John B. Magruder and General Joseph E. Johnston. The house would enable the generals to oversee and direct the defense of the peninsula against Major General George B. McClellan and his advancing troops, which was delayed by three weeks because of the Confederate forces entrenched in the area. On May 3, 1862, the Confederate army would be ordered to retreat, with a skirmish being fought on the property as the leaving Confederates were threatened by the Union's cavalry. The peninsula would then become a Union stronghold until the end of the war, with the Lees returning after the war and living there until 1871. After that time, the estate would be owned by numerous families, until the city bought it in 1996; and restoring it to its former beauty and antebellum looks. It is currently a house museum that documents the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, with excellently decorated rooms, as well as the 1862 Peninsula Campaign Gallery that is open to the public for their education and admiration with special programs and lectures that complement the exhibits and describe how that war changed the landscape and attitude of this country forever.

    Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center
    Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center Newport News, VirginiaThe Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center was opened to present high-quality cultural arts to the community so that their quality of life may be enhanced by offering a venue that cares about the city's young people and is important and inviting to all. It is devoted to inspiring the development of arts and life skills education to all the community with the chance for them, the community to engage in the performing and visual arts presentations that will encourage creative and diverse programming for all. The Anderson Johnson gallery is dedicated to the artist that became a street preacher at the age of eight and continued to spread the gospel in churches and street corners all through his life and America. He became sick in the 1970s and returned to his home in Virginia where he would spend the next two decades converting his house into a faith mission that was decorated from the floor to the ceiling with his wonderful portraits and visionary images, all done by Johnson. He held marvelous church services each week in his home, attended by a small group of devotees, and driven by a passionate zeal that included Johnson singing, playing different instruments and preaching. In 1995, the Faith Mission was condemned and he was forced out of his home and into an apartment, where he continued to create masterful artistry on any surface that he could find with house paint; and died in 1998. In the Newport News Community Gallery there are many displays throughout the year that showcase the works of local, national and international artists along with numerous student exhibits. Beginning in September there will be a marvelous changing exhibit about Cowgirls, with other venues being hosted during the coming months that will bring the community outstanding concerts, lectures, exhibits, workshops, plays, storytelling and more to keep the community alive and well during these terrible economic times.

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    James River Reserve FleetJames River Reserve Fleet Newport News, Virginia
    The James River Reserve Fleet is the navy's "mothball fleet" that includes many ships that have been decommissioned and taken off the navy's active list of vessels. Their activity changes occasionally, but the basic requirements are always the same; keep the ships afloat and in good enough working condition so that in case of dire emergency, they can be reactivated. In such a case, especially when the Korean War began, numerous ships were reactivated with huge amounts of savings in time and money; although the most common results of these old vessels is that when they become too obsolete and old to be of any real use or abilities, they are sold for scrap, or scuttled in weapons tests, or in some unusual cases, may become artificial reefs. Sometime, but usually in rare cases, the public will get involved in a ship that is to be scrapped, and ask that the Navy donate them for use as a museum or memorial. During 1912, the Atlantic and Pacific Reserve Fleets were established as reserve units, operating ships, but on a greatly reduced schedule. After WWII, there were hundreds of these ships that were not needed by the navy any longer, and were retired to a fleet that was made up of many groups that corresponded to storage sites, next to shipyards that would be able to deactivate them easier. Many of the WWII merchant vessels were of the Liberty ship class that was mass produced ocean going transports that were used mainly for moving convoys to and from this country, Europe and Russia. They were also used to ferry troops back and forth across the Pacific and Atlantic as well as supporting the fleets of warships in those oceans. At that time, it was always a race between us keeping them floating and the German U-boats from sinking them, but these ships were vitally important to the United Kingdom when it was beleaguered in the first years of the war. The majority of these ships were deactivated into mothball fleets strategically located around the country and coasts which were then scrapped in the early 1970s. The groups of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet were located at Boston, Charleston, Florida, New London, MOTBY/New York harbor, Norfolk, Philadelphia and Texas. The groups of the Pacific Reserve Fleet were at Alameda, Bremerton, Columbia River, Long Beach, Mare Island, San Diego, San Francisco, Stockton and Tacoma. Beginning in 2004, the administrative organization that is called the Navy Inactive Fleet has its headquarters at Portsmouth, Virginia. The James River Reserve Fleet contains about 60 decommissioned ships of auxiliary and warships that are anchored in Virginia's James River by Newport News, and gradually being towed away and scrapped. Since 2001 up to 2005, 31 ships were scrapped.

    James A. Fields House
    James A. Fields House Newport News, Virginia
    The James A. Fields House in Newport News, Virginia is historically important for its outstanding association with the development of the civic and social life of African Americans living in the community at the turn of the century. The house was used by James as his law office and main residence from 1897 until 1903; then in 1908, four doctors put their funds together and asked the Fields if they could use the top floor for a hospital. Besides the city jail's infirmary, this would be the only other hospital for blacks in the city for two years. This is one of the 15 houses that James owned in the city, and it became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. James Apostles Fields was born a slave in Hanover County, Virginia, who would find refuge at Fort Monroe during the Civil War in 1862, as a contraband of war. He would go on to become part of the first graduating class of Hampton Normal and Agricultural School that is now the Hampton University, in 1871. James became the first black judicial officer in Warwick County, which in now Newport News. In 1881, he graduated from the School of Law of Howard University in Washington, D. C. and began using the house on 27th Street in 1897 to open his new law practice and it would be his main residence until his death in 1903.

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May 13, 2011